Vote instead of boycotting polls

Published 6:57 pm Friday, July 20, 2012

If a tree falls in the forest, does anyone hear it?

Last week, we chastised John Q. Public for not taking part in the second primaries. Though turnout wasn’t the record low of 2.5 percent as predicted, only about 221,000 people went to the polls statewide. That’s about 3.6 percent of North Carolina’s 6 million registered voters.

John Q. Public responded via Sound Off: “Not voting is voting. In many cases, it is said that people believe the election system is broken and doesn’t deserve their time and effort. In the N.C. House of Representatives race, the voter had to try to vote against the least qualified or against the nastiest campaign.”

Discontent displayed by boycotting the polls is too easily misconstrued as voter apathy.

There was another option.

When Talkeetna, Alaska, voters were less than impressed with their mayoral candidates, they wrote in a better alternative: Stubbs the cat. Fifteen years later, Stubbs is still mayor of the 900-person town.

Now, that was a tree that was heard.